Starcom/Tapestry signs “Forefront” deal with Univision


UnivisionStarcom USA and its multicultural agency Tapestry have finalized its first 2012-2013 upfront deal with Univision. It’s the largest single-agency upfront deal ever conducted by Univision and will be the first to incorporate all of Univision’s properties including two network Univision, TeleFutura, Galavisión, local TV and radio stations and Univision’s online, mobile and social video destinations.

This deal reinforces Univision’s position in the same consideration set as the English-language networks, and shows that media agencies like Starcom and Tapestry are willing to open up the marketplace to allow flexibility across languages.

For Starcom and Tapestry, it is a way to show that the agencies are following population and consumption trends to provide competitive advantages to their roster of major marketers, including Burger King, Mars/Wrigley and Kellogg. This is also a part of the agencies’ larger Forefront strategy that aims to evolve the upfront process into a marketplace that embodies the “Forefront of human experience.”

“The Upfront marketplace has the tendency to value tradition and legacy over innovation and evolution; we would rather it represent the Forefront of new thinking and approaches to reaching consumers in an ever-changing landscape of content and platforms. The main dialogue of the past few weeks in the industry has centered around the need to break down the walls between traditional TV and digital video, which is absolutely critical, and a key element to this deal,” says Mike Rosen, president of activation at Starcom USA. “However, we know there are more, equally important walls that need to be torn down, including the ones between multicultural and general market, as well as one between national and local. This groundbreaking partnership with Univision Communications knocks down all those walls, including the shift of some traditionally ‘general market’ English language media investments to Univision.”

“As English-language networks traditionally lead the pack in writing deals with major advertisers, Tapestry recognizes the importance of creating meaningful human experiences with all key audiences, including Latinos,” says Danielle Gonzales, EVP/managing director at Tapestry. “With progressive and total market deals like this, Univision is poised to be real competition to English broadcasters.”

“This deal emphasizes that the shift happening in the marketplace is real – one that mirrors the changing demographics of this country and the new American reality the Hispanic boom is driving,” said David Lawenda, president of Advertising Sales and Marketing.

“This total market perspective is not only leading the general trajectory of Upfronts but it also clearly aligns with the general direction of Starcom as we move forward,” says Lisa Donohue, CEO of Starcom USA. “Our human experience approach looks at more than just language or platform; it looks at the whole person and their experiences with our clients’ brands. It’s deals like these that will help enhance our Forefront strategy.”

RBR-TVBR observation: When a media company like Univision has a 360-degree offering, why not break down the silo around traditional TV upfront buying? A campaign is most effective for an advertiser when it reaches as many consumer touchpoints as possible—and that’s done via a multimedia buy when possible.